Murder suspect linked to several crimes


Stephen Oates, 19, is charged with last Friday's murder of Abhijit Mahato. He's also suspected in several other robberies.

Oates was arrested Tuesday night after leading police on a high speed chase through Durham and Wake counties. Thursday he faced a judge in Durham County.

While Oates faces murder charges in the death of Abhijit Mahato, Oates is facing robbery charges with three other men.

Oates, William Dozia Smith, 20, and two juveniles are charged with robbing a couple of cash Sunday night at gunpoint on Lambeth Circle.

Oates was also charged Tuesday night with an armed robbery that was reported November 19, 2007 at Bennett Pointe Grill on Hillsborough Road. An employee was taking out the trash when two males approached him and demanded money. One male took the victim's cash while the second male sprayed the victim with pepper spray. Oates was charged with robbery and simple assault in that case.

Oates remains in Durham County Jail without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 31.

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